Album Review: Loveless – My Bloody Valentine

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Visceral; ethereal; overwhelming; primal; emotional. These are all words I would use to describe My Bloody Valentine’s 1991 release Loveless, which celebrates its 25th anniversary on November 4th (the occasion for this review). The album was met with critical acclaim upon its initial release, but never sold particularly well. It garnered a small cult following in the following years and has been inspiring many to pick up a guitar and turn the reverb up to eleven. Twenty-five years later, the album still sounds just as fresh and unlike anything else as it did upon release. Read More…

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Album Review: 22, A Million – Bon Iver

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Very few musicians can romanticize isolation, solitude, and loneliness the same way that Justin Vernon can. His first two albums explored these themes extensively and undoubtedly inspired countless listeners to long for a similar kind of experience in a snowy log cabin in the Midwest (it also inspired people to adopt a very distinct stereotype, but that’s a conversation for another day). After snatching 2 Grammys for his self-titled second album, Vernon seemed content to retire Bon Iver for the time, instead focusing on side projects (Volcano Choir, Shouting Matches) and collaborations with other musicians (Kanye West, James Blake, and Jason Feathers). After five years, Vernon has returned to Bon Iver to give us 22, A Million, an abstract, glitchy, and cryptic album. Read More…

Album Review: Ology – Gallant

GallantWhen you have a voice as bold and beautiful as Gallant’s, you’re bound to turn some heads. Since the release of his EP Zebra in 2014, he’s garnered acclaim from Elton John, Sufjan Stevens, Zane Lowe, and Seal, and has been compared to R&B contemporaries like The Weeknd and Frank Ocean, as well as the aforementioned Seal.

Despite this, I didn’t care for Zebra. It sounded no different from Soundcloud’s endless stream of bland alt R&B and trap musicians, such as Cashmere Cat, Flume, and SOHN. Gallant’s voice was the most impressive piece, so I wondered how much more enjoyable he would be with proper instrumentation. My curiosity was only heightened after seeing him perform live. It seems Gallant thought about this too, as Ology has greatly expanded the singer’s sound. Read More…

Album Review: Good Grief – Lucius

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Two years ago, I had the treat of seeing Lucius perform live at my university. To this day, that show remains one of my favorite concerts I’ve been to. The band brought to life songs that I already adored, and somehow made me love them even more.

Smash cut to March 2016, where Lucius have just released their second album Good Grief. The album boasts cleaner production, bigger instrumentation, and more danceable hooks. It also marks a shift from the 60’s girl power pop sound of Wildewoman, to a sleek, 80’s synth-pop sound that has seen a reemergence recently. It isn’t a bad shift, it just doesn’t feel like a necessary one. Read More…

Album Review: The Life of Pablo – Kanye West

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I’d like to get one thing out of the way; everything about this album is a trainwreck. I mean that in the best possible way

The Life of Pablo is Kanye West’s seventh studio album, and the hotly anticipated follow-up to his mercurial 2013 release, Yeezus. The amount of buildup and hype leading up to the release of this album is unlike any other album I’ve seen, and it’s apparently gone through several different variations (in 2014, actor Seth Rogen claimed Kanye rapped the entire album to him in the back of a limo). Ultimately, what we got was a collection of 18 messy, eclectic tracks. Read More…